May the autmn of my heart be refreshed
Day by dau it has become weaker;
With humility I, the hardened, now implores you.
Salutations to you, our shaykh, Haji Sharif;
With sorrow and afflicition have I become weak.
Khwaja Haji Sharif Zandani was one of the outstanding Sufi personalities of his time. Little is known about his early life, though it is known that he was the murid of Khwaja Qutab ad-Din Madudu CHishti r.a. When he was bestowed with the khirqah of khilafat a divine voice called out, “Oh Haji Sharif! We have accepted you and made you a beloved in our court.”
Hazrat Haji Sharif r.a spent 40 solitary years in the wilderness performing strict mujahhdahs, sustaining himself only on salt-less food, fruit and water. He disliked the comforts of this world so intensely that he would refuse even to talk about material things, and those visiting him used to be forewarned not to mention them. He became so engrossed in performance of his salah that he would remain unaware of people who attempted to disturb or even harm him. He used to say, “A lover should be such that when he takes the name of his beloved nothing else should remain. I swear by Allah, that when taking the name of the beloved, I become so intoxicated in my love for Him that even is the entire world was changed into wine and I were to drink it, it would not intoxicate me like that.”
Once a man came to him bearing a gift. As soon as he entered his presence; Hazrat Haji Sharif r.a told him that he had no need for any such present; such were the gifts that Allah had given him. He than told the man to look outside, and when he did so, he saw to his wonderment that the entire surrounds had turned to precious stones and gold. Such was the spiritual wealth of the great saint. When Sultan Sanjari passed away, he was seen in a dream and asked what his fate had been. He replied he had stood before the angels of death and answered for his deeds; but that, just as they were about to begin his punishment, Allah had intervened. He had said that, because the sultan had once afforded great respect to this beloved of Allah, Allah was forgiving his sins.
He was a man of great humility and fear of Allah. Whenever he used to think of the verse, “ We have not created man and jinn except that they might worship me,” he would become so filled with fear and regret that he would lapse into unconsciousness. He used to say, “we have been created for Allah’s worship, yet we occupy ourselves with other things.”
Hazrat Khwaja Sharif Zandani showed such respect for the poor and the needy that people were overcome by amazement. He used to take the dust from their feet and place it on his eyes, saying, “O Allah! Haji Sharif is at the service of the poor. Keep me steadfast in my love for them.” He never associated with the rich and wealthy.
The treatises of haji Sharif r.a on the unity of Allah admit no equal; unfortunately, as with many of the works of the early Muslims, they are now lost to us. He used to teach on tahwid nad love for Allah to all those who came to him. One of his pupils was Hazrat Khwaja Uthman Haruni r.a to whom he eventually gave his khilafat. Hazrat Haji Sharif Zindani attained unity on 3rd Rajab 612 AH and lies buried in Syria.